Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year of Peace & One Thousand Gifts

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place with no noise, trouble, or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

In 2011 my word of the year was "Peace."  In the past {almost} 365 days, I have learned that peace is:

  • The umpire of my life.  I try not to choose to do or think something unless it brings me peace
  • Always there.  God's peace is there for the taking 100% of the time.
  • A decision.  We must decide to accept it in all of life's situations.
  • A cozy, quiet night at home alone with a good book. But it is also...
  • A crazy hectic day when I just want to cry and give up.  
I guess the main thing I'm taking away from this year is that peace is not circumstantial.  Yes, it is very easy to feel God's peace during a quiet time in a good day.  But it's also possible to feel it while you're stuck in a traffic jam.  We can feel it when all feels right with the world, and we can feel it when our worlds are crumbling.  We can feel it when the harvest is plentiful, and in times when we don't know where we'll get our next meal.

If we choose peace in a situation that is not peaceful, that is where real discipline can be found.  And real victory, and real closeness with God.  It doesn't come naturally.  But those are the times in which we need peace the most.  Because life isn't always quiet mornings and beautiful sunsets.  Life is traffic jams, running late, deadlines, arguments, pain, disease, divorce, infertility, loss, depression, poverty, and even death. 

But God is peace.  So when we choose peace in those difficult situations, we are ultimately choosing God.  We are choosing to let Him take over and have control.  Because we know that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

I praise God for all He has taught me about peace this year, and I hope this is a discipline I can carry on throughout my life.


I have chosen  my word for 2012 as well. It is a word that lends itself to peace.  It is peace graduated: being so peaceful about something that we praise God for it.  My word for 2012 is:

I am just finishing reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts

Ann has some beautiful things to say about thanksgiving:

"...thanksgiving always precedes the miracle."

"Thanks is what multiplies the joys and makes any life large, and I hunger for it."

"God gives gifts, and I give thanks, and I unwrap a gift: joy." 

"Thanksgiving creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying happens."

"Take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness."

"Is this the paradox - that giving thanks for what is, creates an appetite for more - not more things, but for seeking more of God to give more glory?"

This book has inspired me.  As you can see, it is beautifully written but also full of wisdom.  A must-read.  

It has inspired me to make "Thanksgiving" my word of the year.  I want to take peace a step further.  I don't want to only let God rain down His peace on me like He has for the past year; I want to also feel thankful for his peace and all of his other gifts: the good and the bad.

Ann also has a blog.  Although I'm pretty sure you're probably already following it ;-)  Anyway, every Monday, she does a link up where people can post the gifts from God that they are thankful for, counting up to a thousand and beyond.  

So that's my resolution this year: to count one thousand (and beyond) of God's beautiful gifts.  And not just the ones that are easy to be thankful for, but the difficult ones too.  

I'm so excited for 2012!  I hope I can change my perspective and start appreciating all the gifts that God gives me daily.  Then maybe I can turn my focus away from myself, my, me, me.


(I know I sound like a commercial, but seriously: read One Thousand Gifts if you haven't! And join in on Mondays :-)  There's even a "One Thousand Gifts" app where you can record your gifts and pictures!  I'm so excited to begin!) 


  1. This sounds so exciting!! I am definitely interested in reading One Thousand Gifts too!! Maybe I can borrow it? :) haha

  2. This post was beautiful. So very inspiring. I've been trying to work on my level of ''peace" no matter what the circumstances. It is such a process ... but I'm trying. I would also recommend 1000 Gifts!! Such an incredible and touching book. It reminds us of the little gifts along with the big and even, as you mentioned, to be thankful during those trying times.

    Love this!! And I love your word choice for this year. Mine for 2012 is: HOPE! Romans 15:13

    Many blessings to you in this new year!!!

  3. I just started reading this. It's been on my list to read for a while now, just haven't gotten to it. I love it already!

  4. One Thousand Gifts helped me choose my One Word for 2012 too. It's FULLNESS.

  5. I wish I had words for how this book is effecting me. Ann Voskamp's beautiful words brought an 'aha!' moment as to what God has been teaching me (or trying to teach me)for months. Definitely a must read for anyone seeking God and the joy a life devoted to him can bring.


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! I read and appreciate each and every one. Blessings to you!